Prompt: An old deaf Italian man spends all his time painting; they are his interpretations of sound.
There was no getting my father to leave. Visitors thought his paintings were his life. He refused to sell any of them or give them as gifts. He just let the house eat them, the same way it ate him alive. I mean the first part quite literally. The house had a terrible pest problem, and not just one species. It was like a diplomatic summit of everything you didn’t want to be diplomatic with. Continue reading
Prompt: A man stumbles into swampland; mist surrounds him.
It was four days into what most people would call a camping trip. Bryce only called it that when he was embarrassed, when the stranger at the checkout counter asked him why he was buying both ammunition and sidewalk chalk. He could just answer with ‘camping trip’ and a smile. They would assume he had children looking to draw on boulders. Continue reading
Prompt: a comical tale of a superhero dad who struggles to balance real life with his wife and daughter and his heroics.
Pretty soon I would be going to my daughter’s games. I don’t care what kind of games they are: soccer, baseball, mountain biking, chess… as long as she gives me something to go to. My wife insists she’ll be a gymnast because she’s now quite good at tumbling without bruising her forehead. Continue reading
Prompt: the story of a boy and his cyborg shark that has robot legs, missile launcher fins, and devastating eye lasers.
It was life’s second chance at the process and possibly its last. Evolution the first time around was wholly organic, a thing of generations and mutations. The second time there was a brain on hand that could actually think things through. Continue reading
Prompt: he was just a kid.
It honestly was a humanitarian effort. It was supposed to help, at the very least, two humans in particular. Him. And me. I was what passes for a fresh adult these days, just starting my thirties and inheriting my parents’ old house while they finished work on their retirement home. I was single, but I had a good job, plenty of space, and I never was much of a dog person. (Something about them not having much color to their iris always creeped me out. If the eyes are the window to the soul then a dog’s are all fogged up.) Continue reading
Prompt: the story of a clipper-class airship called the Dusk Runner.
The great cities of mankind’s first and only steam empire had risen into the sky with brass spears and aluminum windmills. The airships used to see these towers, like a mineral garden sculpted from a dwarf treasure hoard, but they were no longer visible. The city produced its own clouds in vast numbers; they became a second sea obscuring the upper reaches of the entire empire. Continue reading
Prompt: a story with dragons and a ‘broken sky’.
All the warriors among all the birds had made their attempts already, and all had failed. Evidence of their failure was everywhere. Taravien lumbered forward, her legs splayed out to the side rather than directly under her, pushing aside the feathers like Autumn leaves. As a dragon she had two ways of walking and two ways of flying. Continue reading
Prompt: While drunkenly setting up your avatar for a simulated world, you find a developer’s Easter egg and end up with the rarest character class in the game. There is only one: the village idiot.
I was at a point in my life where I was doing a lot of things drunk. It was like a game; how intoxicated could I be while still getting the task done and not getting noticed? I shopped for sweaters drunk. Hiked drunk. Even coded drunk. It’s very strange to look at a program written by an intellectually-meandering version of yourself. It’s like seeing a toy train’s tracks cross over each other a hundred times, and never in the same place. Continue reading
Prompt: A story about a murderer who wanted to be an actor instead, but was terrible at acting.
In this, the fifth entry in Cut from the Script, we will have our most volatile actor to date. As stated in the dedication, this book’s goal is to act as the credits to a film containing only the darkest parts of life, like sitting through a screening, staring at a black square the entire time, yet still feeling dread and depression after leaving. Continue reading
Prompt: Two prophets, sent by the same existing god, preach conflicting things.
Glam had, in the past month, aged out of the sympathy of most of his fellow villagers. As a life long orphan, some had told him he was an orphan even before he was born, Glam had relied on his boyish good looks and a few smears of coal dust on his neck to earn him a place to sleep. Sometimes a hay loft. Sometimes a guest room. Sometimes an apple tree and a blanket. Continue reading